“Out of more than 2,800 applications, they chose me,” said Turner, a Chinese language and culture major with a minor in science studies. “I was overwhelmed with happiness and excitement like winning the Kentucky Lottery.”
The Gilman Scholarship Program, established through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, offers awards for undergraduates to study abroad.
Turner will head to Taipei, Taiwan, in the fall and study Chinese language, as well as Taiwanese and Chinese culture, volunteer with a service-project organization and “explore the country to its fullest,” she said.
Turner is weighing her options for plans after graduation, deciding between becoming an officer in the Air Force, teaching English in China or pursuing graduate studies in international affairs.
“There is so much I can do with a Chinese major,” Turner said. “I haven't fully explored every option thoroughly.”
The trip can help with that.
“I am opening all doors to exploration, never turning down an opportunity to try new foods or visit new places,” said Turner. “While studying abroad, I want to live life as if I am a true Taiwanese student.”